Star Bright K/U [PG]

Image courtesy of  iddy

Disclaimer:  I earn no riches from Trek other than my fantasies.

A/N:  Another story in my Realizations series.  Time frame is Earth, the Christmas before TWOK. Words bracketed by // denote unspoken thoughts.  And yes, I know it's late but Ava can't have everything.


Nyota came into the dimly lit living room and found Kirk stretched out on the sofa in front of the fire. His closed eyes and regular breathing made it obvious a short break in party clean-up duty had gone horribly wrong. She smiled down at his sleeping visage, knowing he had to be extremely tired, or seriously drunk, to have crashed on her couch--her wide, overstuffed, comfy, inviting couch.  

Taking a moment to really look at him, Nyota noticed his face was tight around the eyes and jaw, as if, even in sleep he could not completely relax.  Coming to the party late and alone, with probably a few drinks under his belt already, Jim had danced, laughed and mingled.  However, Nyota had sensed an underlying restlessness in him--a brooding spirit he was fighting hard to keep in check.  Still, by the end of the evening he seemed to have won the round and cheerfully volunteered to stay and help clean up her only partially destroyed living room.  

Now, looking around to see most of the damage repaired, Nyota considered that perhaps he had the way of it.  Curling up next to him, she used his shoulder for a pillow and tucked her hands under his sweater. //Ahhh yes...this was much nicer than picking up fallen garland and stray Christmas bows//.  Sliding her knee between his legs and nestling against him for warmth--the fire was nothing but embers now, shedding faint light but little heat--she roused her last guest from his impromptu slumber.

"Oh, sorry.  Did I tap out?"  He asked in groggy guilt.

"I think you decided to take a break, yes."  She grinned up at him as he tried to wipe the sleep from his face.

"Well, you know it's hard to get good help nowadays." He laughed  at her joke but sobered as he realized just how cozy they were together on the couch.  "But really, I need to go so you can crash yourself."  

"I was thinking we could enjoy the sofa awhile longer; it's plenty big enough for the both of us," Nyota spoke softly, her hands roaming along his chest and down his flank, making it clear what she was willing to share.

"In the morning--" Kirk began in his 'father knows best' tone.

"In the morning," Nyota took control of the conversation, not interested in the lecture to come, "I will wake up to an empty sofa, or worse yet, *Admiral* Kirk, who will be terribly embarrassed he passed out on my couch." She leaned forward but stopped just short of brushing her lips to his, knowing he always had to come to terms with their liaisons before allowing such an intimacy.  Technically, as Communications Head on the Enterprise, she reported to Captain Spock, but as the Command-Track Supervising Admiral at Starfleet Academy, they all reported to Kirk.  "But tonight... perhaps tonight, I can spend with a slightly wasted Jim Kirk, who could blame his lapse on too much cheer."

Pulling away, only to place his forehead against hers in a much more vulnerable pose, he agreed in a tone that implied Nyota was closer to the truth than she realized, "Yes, slightly wasted definitely covers it." 

Not liking the bitter edge to Kirk's words, she chose to ignore the deeper meaning in them while running her hand along the inside of his thigh.  In spite of his manner, Nyota knew she had his attention by the hardness she felt beneath her hand.  She pulled back and looked deep into his solemn eyes, saying seductively, "I know you downed most of the eggnog tonight, but I certainly don't see or feel any wasting away here." 

He tensed at her touch, indecision warring with desire in his eyes. "Admiral Kirk should know better than to drink so much at your parties." 

"He does, but occasionally Jim Kirk wins out--especially if he talks the Admiral into coming dateless to my Christmas party."  She inched closer to his lips, teasing them with her warm breath.

"He didn't know his date was going to get shipped out early on the Potemkin," Kirk answered with just a hint of disgust in his voice.

"I'm sorry," Nyota whispered.  She could have meant she was sorry that he had lost his date at the last minute, but they both knew it wasn't.  Commander Svetlana Mirovaya was just one of the many transitory women in his life.  Instead, she was sorry that it was not Kirk who had shipped out--two years back from retirement in order to supervise Command School at the Academy were now noticeably beginning to chafe. No, frustration was at the core of his mood and why he had chosen to come alone.

"Don't be, I'm not," he murmured as he finally leaned in and made connection with Ny's waiting lips.  He would never admit his quiet  desperation to her--not in words--but his hands roaming up her thigh told Nyota volumes, his tongue seeking shelter with hers, betrayed him.

"Her loss."  Nyota grinned against his lips as she ground herself  against him.  She knew her attentions could not cure Jim's melancholy, only relieve it, but it was hers to give.

"Oh, definitely."  He chuckled deep in his throat as he moved to slide Nyota down and under him, pushing back her gossamer silver snowflake mantle to the sexy camisole she wore just beneath.  She had claimed herself to be the Snow Queen at the party, but her silver-against-black attire may have triggered an image of another mistress--the one now chained in orbit above to be nothing more than a training vessel.  

Kirk cradled Ny's head with one hand as the other cupped a breast, capturing her lips in a soft kiss as he eased himself between her legs.  He was slow and deliberate; Nyota did not know if it was an  effect of the liquor or just his mood. Their lovemaking of the past had been more passionate--often on the edge of rough--an outlet for the desperate emotions that called them to each other.  Instead, tonight, she savored his sweet caresses and tender-tinged kisses.  His touch was so gentle, like he still held one of the antique glass ornaments he had admired on her Christmas tree. 

Reaching down to grab the edge of Jim's sweater, Nyota encouraged him to take it off.  All night it had enticingly draped across his shoulders, but now it hampered her desire to feel the muscles outlined beneath.  Rising up on his knees, he sat back and pulled the offending garment off, allowing Nyota a moment to take in the sight of him.  

It always amazed her how much he had changed yet stayed the same.  Nyota had thought Jim glorious before, but now, with the kiss of maturity upon him, she knew it to be so.  The golden skin and hair had turned to bronze, only hinting at their brilliance beneath a rich patina.  His deliciously broad shoulders had gained new dimension as his muscles had evolved from boy-captain to alpha-admiral. 

She reached out, beckoning him closer so she could indulge herself by running fingers through the mass of chestnut curls that now covered  his pecs and firm belly.  No longer under the constant harangue of McCoy about perilous landing parties and dire injury, he had quit suppressing the hair from growing across his chest.  He had once joked that shaving his chest was better than allowing Bones to carve nasty  safety reminders across it after another close call. 

The open lust in her eyes buoyed his desire, pushing back the countless aches and pains he had acquired while achieving the maturity she obviously admired--war wounds that seemed to be more noticeable in the damp air of Earth.  She seemed ageless while he felt himself growing older every day he was locked in this gravity well. 

He reached down, slipping his hands under Ny's skirt and gently peeling off her panties.  Looking askance at the little wisp of lace he had captured, Kirk asked too casually, a subtle halt in the mood, "So, Penda, why didn't *you* have a date tonight?"

"It's hard to juggle a date and attend to my guests. I thought  I'd prefer to play hostess tonight."  Nyota knew she was busted, but answered  coyly in hopes of recapturing what she had started.  Did it matter she had known he would come alone, that his nameless dissatisfaction with life had bid her to seek him out?

"You knew Lana shipped out."  Jim sat back against the couch with the thud of realization.  "Damn, am I so predictable that you knew I'd pout and come alone?" 

Pushing herself up against the arm of the couch, Nyota reached out and rubbed Jim's shoulder, drawing his attention back to her.  "I know every name that ships out," she answered softly, and then continued in a much more knowing tone, "and Jim Kirk is never predictable.  I've  just had years of experience to study him--good days and bad.  Tonight is just the end of a very rough week."  She smiled at him, trying to coax one in return.

"Really?  So what has all that study taught you?" He asked guardedly, not sure if he wanted to hear her answer.

"That you're not happy with your life right now, but don't know exactly how to fix it."  

"Got any advice?" He pushed, startled by just how close to home she had nailed him.

"No, not really.  You're not one for listening to suggestions about your personal life anyway."  She knew by the roundness of his eyes that she had surprised him with her answer; he obviously had expected a lecture about getting back his command.

Shaking his head in disbelief, Jim grumbled, "Hasn't stopped McCoy all these years.  Even Spock gets his two cents in when it suits him." 

"We all care about you and hate to see you hurting.  We just show our love in different ways."  Nyota picked up his listless hand and squeezed  it for emphasis.

"That's true." Kirk finally smiled back, not the sultry one she craved, but now at least a glint of humor lit his eyes. "McCoy tries  to beat his opinion into my head while Spock tries to logic me to death."  

The humor faded from his eyes, replaced by something much more tender. "But you...well, Nyota...you're just like what your name means: Star.  You're my 'Northern Star'--my always constant and true--"  He caught himself, quickly banishing the vulnerability that had briefly escaped.  "I mean, after all, 'tis the season for following bright stars and finding one's way, isn't it?" He added in a mixture of embarrassment  and humor as he leaned over and gave her a soft kiss. 

"It is, isn't it?"  Nyota smiled up into his warm eyes, deeply touched by his sentiment but knew better than to comment upon it.  She had given  love and comfort when he had lost his ship, and later, when Lori had left him.  But she knew Jim felt guilty for accepting her attentions  then, worrying it bound her all the closer to him and his stagnant life on Earth.  It was not a fate he would share with her.  To him,  she still had access to the stars if she did not tie herself to his needs--his limitations. 

Settling himself back into his original pose on the couch, Jim pulled Nyota down against him as he wrapped her in his arms. His embrace was now  protective, his earlier passion restrained. "Well, tonight let's just lie here and watch that star," he suggested good-naturedly, tilting  his head toward the glowing amber-glassed ornament that perched at the top of the tree.

Nyota realized that by being cast forever as a symbol of what he missed most, Jim saw her just as unavailable as those stars were to him in  his currently grounded status.  Having little choice but to accept the limits he had placed on the rest of their night together, she sighed  in pouty resignation, "*Admiral* Kirk loves the stars."

"Both of us love *the* star," he whispered conspiratorially against her ear.

Still frustrated or not, Nyota could not help but smile.


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